AUTHORWills, Garry
TITLEBomb Power: The Modern Presidency and the National Security State
PUBLISHERPenguin Books
CITYNew York, NY

In this book, the author, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, asserts that possession of the atomic bomb has reshaped the U.S. government and expanded executive power far beyond what is granted by the U.S. Constitution. The book provides a concise look at how weapons of mass destruction fundamentally changed presidential power in the United States, beginning with the Manhattan Project and continuing through 2009. The author asserts that government activities associated with nuclear weapons have been cloaked in secrecy and he supports the premise that nuclear weapons have become the major component of executive power for every president from Harry S.Truman to Barack Obama. He traces the role of the atomic bomb in presidential decisions during World War II, the Korean War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, arms negotiations with the Soviet Union and Russia, and the administrations of U.S. presidents since World War II. The author argues that the fact of the atomic bomb and the president's power to use it has redefined the U.S. government as "a National Security State, with an apparatus of secrecy and executive control" (p. 1).

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